Release Date: April 27th, 2016
Formats: CD, Vinyl, Cassette Tape
Number of Editions (1): Regular Edition
Soutaiseiriron’s new record is an enjoyable and rewarding experience not to miss.
One of the things that generally make an artist stand out in the maze of the J-pop scene, is the ability to make detailed compositions accessible to anyone. It is a sign of great maturity and compositional mastery, that makes music not only immediately enjoyable, but also genuinely satisfying when properly examined in depth, rewarding any kind of listening approach.
J-pop/rock outfit Soutaiseiriron, who just entered in its tenth year of activity, is one of the most influential acts adopting this approach in music. The band’s new record Tensei Jingle is indeed a great example of this philosophy, and while it takes a departure from certain sonorities adopted in the past, it’s a new approach the four mysterious members are totally confident with. The result is an exceptional record.
Tensei Jingle is indeed a pleasant experience that flows through its eleven tracks with delicacy and a light-hearted vibe, where catchy melodies and the almost whispering singing of Etsuko Yakushimaru help these compositions get stuck in the mind of the listener instantly: Numbers like Kerberos and 13 ban no Kanojo showcase a great duality between guitar melodies and electronic layers, a constant of this album and a formula that makes each track immediately recognizable, and the group carefully plays with this pattern with great balance, giving personality to each track and to the overall work. Simply put, It’s a record that could be played in the background while doing something else, and it still would reach and surprise the listener with its constant highlights.
Still, Tensei Jingle is a record that shows its true potential when proper attention is payed to each detail composing it. It’s a work where every piece properly falls into place perfectly, enhancing each single element, instrument and note. The closing track FLASHBACK is a prime example of this, catching the attention with its redundant melody, opening itself listen after listen and unveiling a non-linear and intriguing structure, that also welcomes an unexpected electronic break that takes its spot with absolute delicacy and balance. Nothing tries to steal the spotlight or break the vibe here: everything just flows naturally, and the record balances rock, pop and electronic influences with absolute mastery.
With Tensei Jingle, Soutaiseiriron crafted a record that’s constantly surprising, and it grows bigger with each listen: the more you focus on it, the more details emerge from its apparent simplicity, making it a genuinely rewarding and enjoyable experience. Definitely one of the highlights of this year, and one of the most fascinating albums that graced the Japanese scene in recent times.
Verdict: 9 / 10
1. Tenchi Souzou SOS
3. Ultra Soda
4. Watashi ga Watashi
5. 13ban no Kanojo
6. Benten-sama wa Spiritual
8. Berlin Tenshi
9. Toaru Around
10. Oyasumi Chikyuu
11 . FLASHBACK